Class Notes

Did you get a promotion, add a family member, or find a new calling? Share your latest news with your fellow alumni. We print Class Notes in UNLV Magazine and list them in the online alumni directory.

John Santana

August 15, 2018
John Santana, '95 BA Communication Studies, saw his debut novel novel, Bastards of Young, released in May by Black Opal Books. In it, Nick Karenka is lost in Sin City. His band’s singer has navy SEAL aspirations, his dad’s marrying a young stripper, and why does his girlfriend’s family make such a big deal about eating with your elbows on the table? Nick holds LA as some sort of utopia, until a chance encounter with a kilt-wearing, hearse-driving, drum-playing college freshman named Gremlin starts to bring out who Nick really is. They begin to explore the world beyond the desert island that is Las Vegas until they finally realize that their future isn’t in Southern California, but with a bunch of lumberjack-dressing misfits in the Pacific Northwest. Santana lives in Nassau, New York.

Herb Santos

August 15, 2018
Herb Santos, '85 BA Sociology, has been selected as the 2018 Trial Lawyer of the Year. A 1991 graduate of the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific, he lives in Reno.

Angela Brown

August 8, 2018
Angela K. Brown, '97 BS Education - Recreation & Leisure Studies, '10 BS Education - Workforce Education, works as a specialist coordinator assistant in the department of casino management at CSN. She is a spoken word poet whose hobbies include writing.

Edward Bobbett

August 8, 2018
Edward Bobbett, '10 MS Hotel Administration, is enjoying his second year in Boston after being promoted to assistant director of rooms at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor. He also is a captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Westover Air Reserve Base. He lives in Revere.

Melissa Waite

August 8, 2018
Melissa Waite, '03 BA Psychology, '07 JD and '07 MBA, has joined the Las Vegas office of Dickson Wright. Her practice focuses on licensing, compliance, business transactions, and real estate transactions. It extends to business and private licensing, including those clients from the liquor, gaming, auto dealership, and transportation industries. Most recently, she has become involved with licensing and compliance for medical and retail marijuana establishments in Nevada, and emerging legal issues related to marijuana businesses. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Nevada, the National Cannabis Bar Association, the Clark County Bar Association, and the Southern Nevada Association of Women Attorneys. She also is a member of the Alumni Leadership Circle and the Dean’s Council of the William S. Boyd School of Law.  

Dennis Gradillas

August 8, 2018
Dennis R. Gradillas, '91 BS Hotel Administration, is vice president of operations for HumanGood, a not-for-profit organization that provides housing, health care, and supportive services to older adults. He and his wife, Tami, and three young children relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. He spends his spare time competing in Ironman 70.2 events or cycling through the area. He also coaches fast pitch softball for 8 and 9 year-old girls and assists with other youth sports when possible. The family lives in Brentwood.     

Christian "Dane" Terry

August 8, 2018
Christian "Dane" Terry, '12 BS Gaming Management, '16 BSBA - Finance, works for a commercial real estate firm with a focus on retail properties. He represents buyers/sellers, landlords and tenants. His hobbies are golf, real estate, and baseball. He also enjoys trading in the markets, primarily equities and derivatives.

George Sovich

August 8, 2018
George C. Sovich, '11 BS Architecture, is vice president of Friedmutter Group in Las Vegas. In 2013 he earned a master's degree in architecture from USC. Golf and hiking are his hobbies.

James Robertson

August 8, 2018
James Robertson, '08 MBA and '08 JD, a partner at Downey Brand, was named 2018 Top Lawyer by Sacramento Magazine. Attorneys throughout the region participated in the voting, recommending colleagues in more than 50 legal disciplines. Attorneys who received the highest number of votes in each discipline received a Top Lawyer designation and were featured in the August issue of the magazine.    

Nadine Edwards

August 8, 2018
Nadine Edwards, '12 BS Hotel Administration, works for the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. A member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, she is preparing for deployment in November. In the span of three months, she was promoted to the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force and graduated with her master's degree in instructional design from the University of Massachusetts - Boston. She also completed an internship with Pitney Bowes. She and her husband, Josiah, recently completed a 6,000-mile road trip in their renovated 1997 RV. They visited 25 states and are looking forward to their next long-term, long-distance trip to the Southwest. They live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Gregory Smith

August 6, 2018
Gregory M. Smith, '86 BA and '98 MA Criminal Justice, retired from public service in August, having served 21 years with the Nevada attorney general's office and four years with the Clark County district attorney's office. He is the father of Mark G. Smith, '16 BA Criminal Justice.      

Christopher Wicker

August 6, 2018
Christopher Wicker, '85 BS Geology, teaches Junior ROTC at a high school in Taylor, Michigan, having retired from the U.S. Army after 30 years. He was an ordnance officer in various positions around the world. Highlights included commanding a battalion of 890 soldiers in Iraq in 2003, commanding the garrison of White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico 2009-11, and managing the construction of a large base camp in Northern Afghanistan in 2012. He retired in 2015 as the chief of market intelligence for U.S. Army Recruiting Command. He raised two girls mostly by himself as they lived in 10 different states and in Europe. Physical conditioning, building motorcycles, kendo, and ballroom dancing are among his hobbies. In the 2016 Strongman competition in Kentucky, he won the 175-pound division. He lives in Wyandotte.